Few knew these swamplands and canals better than Moses Grandy, whose written account of his life as an enslaved man and skilled waterman was published in 1843. His hard work included cutting timber and running boats along the wildlife-infested waters. Grandy's work was a key part of the business of trade along the newly formed Dismal Swamp Canal. He worked closely with merchants bringing goods into ports around the region. His work ethic and strong intellect allowed him to endure and prosper: buying his freedom from slavery multiple times and telling his life story to abolitionists.
The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, a 8.3 mile, multi-purpose trail runs along the Dismal Swamp Canal. It is a beautiful location to walk, bike, or ride horses. Interpretive markers can be found along the trail. There is a location to launch a kayak and explore the historic waterway. This peaceful and strangely beautiful place has a history of legendary courage and resilience in its depths. Less than 4 miles from here is Moses Grandy Trail.